Champions for children in the Land of Enchantment are urging policymakers to follow through on school improvement recommendations approved by Albuquerque Public Schools and the New Mexico Public Education Department. While the LEA and SEA are finally in agreement on the path forward, a bipartisan group of legislators, as well as the state’s teachers union, are now challenging the department’s ability to hold districts accountable.
Network member NewMexicoKidsCAN elevated this issue to the national level in a recent piece in The 74. Amanda Aragon, NewMexicoKidsCAN’s executive director, provides context for the schools that have been identified as needing More Rigorous Interventions. She notes, “On average, 85 percent of students attending these schools are not proficient in reading or math, and the vast majority come from low-income households. Almost 8 in 10 students at the schools are Hispanic, and 15 percent of Whittier students are Native Americans.”
Aragon points to the positive reviews of New Mexico’s ESSA plan as proof of careful consideration and meaningful improvement strategies. The urgency of the situation is clear when she explains, “Before that, our kids had been waiting five or six years. That’s so long, some fifth-grade students have only ever attended an F-rated school.”